RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — What could the verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial mean for Raleigh?
The capital city is growing and looking for a new police chief. CBS 17 spoke with several community leaders about their reactions.
“The jury did its job,” said Gerald Givens Jr., the president of the Raleigh-Apex NAACP.
He’s been on the frontlines, fighting for racial justice for nearly 30 years.
“We have the opportunity to create a foundation to start having much better conversations about reforming the police in our country,” Givens said.
Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said she welcomes those conversations.
“Now we can’t waste the moment, we’ve got work to do. We’ve got to look at policing in a new way, we’ve got to ensure we enact criminal justice reforms,” Baldwin said.
The events are happening as Raleigh is choosing a new police chief. Chief Cassandra Deck-Brown is retiring in July.
The city is conducting a survey, asking people to weigh in on what they’d like to see in a new chief.
“We’ve had more than 1,000 people respond so far… there will also be interviews with community members that the search firm will conduct,” Baldwin said.
CBS 17 also wondered what members of law enforcement thought about the verdict. CBS 17 reached out to former Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison for insight.
“I believe in the criminal justice system,” Harrison said.
CBS 17 asked what the verdict might mean for recruiting officers and for morale.
“People don’t understand law enforcement when they’ve never walked in our shoes out in the middle of the night,” Harrison explained.
Many downtown Raleigh businesses remain boarded up after damaging protests. While business owners said they’re supportive of the protests, they’re also trying to protect their property.
“It was kind of a magical moment in the store. We had kind of a collective sigh of relief,” said Micki McCarty, a manager at the Weaver Street Market.